Monday, January 23, 2017

Apollo denial on Coast to Coast AM

        Say what you like about Richard Hoagland, Mike Bara and Robert Morningstar, but at least they aren't Moon landing deniers. So, by all logic, they can't be blamed for the fact that some people are. OK, many people are. It makes me sad to report that, but it's a fact.

        However, I'd like to suggest here that in an indirect sense they are responsible for the spreading virus that is belief that Apollo was faked. The very fact that Hoagland, Bara and Morningstar ram home the message that NASA is a deceptive and untrustworthy agency feeds that mind-set even if they don't themselves believe it. If you don't believe me, read the Encyclopedia of American loons. The entry for Mike Bara alleges that he believes the moonlanding was a hoax. Hoagland's entry says, correctly, that he thinks NASA itself started the Apollo denial ball rolling. The encyclopedia is wrong about Bara, but it's an understandable mistake in the sense that whoever wrote the article felt that Bara was so obviously a doctrinal NASA hater that he surely must disbelieve Apollo.

Not from the Moon
        These thoughts came to me as I reviewed Marcus Allen's guest spot on Coast to Coast AM last Saturday night. Allen is a British photographer who publishes Nexus Magazine-- a source of "alternative, overlooked and under-reported news." His schtick on Apollo is that examination of the 5,777 70mm still photos from the Moon missions proves that these images were not shot on the Moon at all, but back on Earth during training simulations. I must say that considering he was given three hours to make his case he was remarkably unconvincing. His major points have already been well answered by clavius.org among other debunkery.

photo credit: NASA

         Allen cites the above photo of Buzz Aldrin as "impossible" because Aldrin is in shadow, therefore there had to be a source of foreground light. He's not the first to grossly underestimate the intensity of the back-scatter from the bright lunar regolith.note 1 He complains that the Hasselblad photos are too good to be the work of amateur photographers under stress and hampered by heavy gloves. The composition and exposure of the photo-set, he says, are virtually perfect. Allen doesn't seems to understand that many of the images were adjusted to be suitable for general release. Such adjustments quite often included re-framing.note 2 However, there's not much that the labs could do about images like this:

photo credit: NASA (Apollo 17)

        Perfect exposure? I don't think so. Allen also thinks photography would be impossible in the temperature extremes on the Moon-- a contention that clavius.org has taken care of.

        When it comes to the moving pictures, Allen's criticisms are even more dismal. He maintains that the bouncing or hopping gait that lunar gravity forced on the astronauts was simply simulated by over-cranking film. The TV show Mythbusters tried that and showed that it couldn't be done. Besides, there were many, many such sequences that were television rather than film, and seen live around the world in real time. You can't over-crank reality. There are other moving images, too, that could not possibly have been obtained on Earth. Apollo 15's hammer and feather stunt... the big "rooster tail" of lunar dirt thrown up behind the Apollo 16 lunar roving vehicle... one requiring a perfect vacuum, the other requiring one-sixth g.

        How, then, does Mr. Marcus Allen say the photographic evidence of Apollo was obtained? Ignoring the above examples, he says it was all created in a studio, in advance, during training. He says it wasn't necessary to keep this enterprise secret because the technicians involved were openly creating training and simulation materials. What they didn't realize was that their work would later be misrepresented as having been carried out by astronauts on the Moon. He doesn't, apparently, wonder why these photographers and crews don't ever yell that their work was mis-labeled.

        It seemed to me that Allen allowed the possibility that the Apollo landings did indeed happen, but only the photography was faked. That, of course, is nonsensical. He's saying that the Apollo astronauts were sent to the Moon with photographic equipment that was useless. AND THEY DID THIS NOT ONCE BUT SIX TIMES. Marcus Allen, go to your room.

Brookings
        There's another reason why I think Hoagland, Bara, and Morningstar have to take some blame for all this bad information. Late in the third hour, host Richard Syrett asked about possible cover-up of alien structures in the Apollo photography. Allen replied that it would not be surprising, since the Brookings Report strongly advised NASA to STFU about any evidence it might find of extraterrestrial intelligence. Well, this contention is totally untrue, and it's all the fault of Hoagland/Bara/Morningstar that the rumor is widely believed. Hoagland started it, and Bara/Morningstar vigorously espouse it. It's the only way they can answer the obvious question "Why would NASA be shy about announcing something that would do them nothing but good?"

==================/ \=======================
[1] He stated that the albedo of the lunar regolith is typically 7%. Actually, it's a bit more than twice that.
[2] See, for example, this account of how NASA PR messed with a very famous photograph.

40 comments:

Clear Blue Heaven said...

I think whether intentional or otherwise, that Hoagland gives NASA a back handed compliment or condemns the controversial military agency, with faint praise. Even to suggest that NASA really did go to the Moon, is to make one wonder why he would be saying that, by inferring the counterpoint.

That being said, it actually serves to ameliorate the conundrum to which Brookings alludes; that many societies have disintegrated upon contact with superior civilization. By continually subjecting the mass population of the World to the idea of ET, people become desensitized to the prospect, perhaps enough to prevent them from jumping out of windows, as with War of the Worlds, or defecting to ET, should he ever disclose himself to a wider audience than Phoenix.

It could be argued, that we here, serve the very, same purpose.

expat said...

The undeniable weakness of the Brookings argument is this: Yes indeed, Margaret Mead, as a member of the Brookings advisory panel, did warn that contact had had fatal consequences for tribal societies in some historical accounts. But that was actual contact-- she had no examples to affer of societies collapsing merely by finding evidence of a superior civilization.

Clear Blue Heaven said...

The point of Congress having commissioned the so-called, Brookings Report, in the first place, was 'What IF' extraterrestrial life were to be encountered. Dr Mead's research may have raised enough concern, for the DoD to make efforts at cushioning the blow, in event of that scenario becoming actualized, just in case.

expat said...

CBH: Thanks for your comments. Nasa commissioned the report, not Congress, although it was presented to Congress and read into the record. DoD had nothing to do with it.

Trekker said...

CBH, can you clarify that reference to ET and Phoenix? What does it mean?

Clear Blue Heaven said...

Unless you're with the DoD, you can only suspect that the DoD had nothing to do with it. The National Security Act of 1947 holds for the Secretary of Defense to be unaccountable to the President. Clearly, The Proposed Studies On The Implications Of Peaceful Space Activities For Human Affairs [Prepared for the Committee on Long Range Studies of the] National Aeronautics and Space Administration by the Brookings Institution. Report of the Committee on Science and Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives, Eighty-seventh Congress, first session, has considerably relevance to National Security. It makes no difference if Richard C Hoagland is a paid agent of disinformation or if he's actually on to something. In any event, he serves the apparent agenda of desensitization.

expat said...

Hoagland is not on to something. Just read the text of the report. Nowhere does it advise a cover-up.

Clear Blue Heaven said...

Brookings offered no solutions, merely an analysis of implications. Subsequently, the DoD had to determine what to do about those findings, all on their lonesome. Any ostensible cover up is likely a red herring, rather to make disclosure, in a drip, drip, drip, fashion, as according to Richard C Hoagland. The DoD might even be paying him to say that.

expat said...

But... but... but... THERE WERE NO FINDINGS, just recommendations for study topics (none of which were actually followed through). I'm amazed you don't see that. Are you by any chance yet another incarnation of Theadora/Ripley?

Clear Blue Heaven said...

Oh, Patrick, you and your conspiracy theories. Now, who's paraannoyed?

Chris Lopes said...

When Hoagland engages in NASA conspiracy theories, he helps to contribute to the paranoia party. Sometimes that paranoia can snap back and bite him in ass and he ends up being the target of some folks even further out on the fringe then him. The irony is priceless, as he has been accused of being a government dis-info agent. What goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

What is the X-37 'A'?

expat said...

Probably some prototype that never flew

Anonymous said...

The Navy has a fleet of black (literally painted black) Space shuttles; essentially, the same model as the retired Shuttle.

expat said...

{{citation needed}}

Anonymous said...

From a former astronaut who also worked with SDI, and must remain unattributed.

expat said...

LOL, that's not good enough.

David Evans said...

I wonder where the Navy's black shuttles launch and land. Both operations are quite conspicuous.

Chris Lopes said...

I also wonder how they stay cool. The white paint on the shuttle reflects the sunlight, and thus helps keep the craft from over heating. It's not just there to look great against the blue Florida sky.

Anonymous said...

NASA has a higher safety standard than does the Navy. Perhaps the X-37A launches from Diego Garcia? Our enemies know much more than what the Government allows citizens and tax payers to know. Maybe we could get Indonesia to tell US?

Anonymous said...

"I also wonder how they stay cool."

Interesting question!? Regarding the "flimsy" vehicles from the Apollo mission....How does one stay cool in the vacuum of space within the boundaries of our solar system i.e. massively exposed on the sunlit side to radiation resulting in dramatic heating up of the sunlit materials and at the same a massive cool down of the materials in the shadow side....resulting in temperature variations of hundreds of degrees...? One wonders what effect this might have on the aforementioned materials and the occupants residing within these materials? One wonders....?

expat said...

Here, read about barbecue mode.

Chris Lopes said...

Great link Expat. The money quote is from Hugh Blair Smith, who explains what bbq mode is. I had completely forgotten (as a kid, I followed NASA the way some kids followed baseball) about that.

OneBigMonkey said...

The problem with the 'it was all done in a studio' nonsense is that it fails to account for how it was possible in either the 16mm, 70mm, or hours of live TV for them to have included time and date specific images of Earth that can be confirmed by up to three different meteorological satellites. It also fails to account for the presence of small details in the images that were not known about prior to the missions.

I've lost count of the people hoax proponents who "will get right back to me" when I show them Hurricane Bernice in an Apollo 11 TV transmission that could only have been photographed on the day of the broadcast, that appeared on that evening's news, and was shown on the next day's front pages., but someone disappear or change the subject.

expat said...

An excellent point. Actually if I remember correctly Marcus Allen made the incorrect statement that there were almost no images of Earth in the Apollo collection. He thought that was yet another reason for suspicion--but of course he's as much wrong about that as he is about everything else.

Anonymous said...

If there are no glass domes on the moon and if none of the Apollo photos were shot against the "beadscreen technology" in soundstages by Kubrick like Jay Weidner suggests, is there a rational and scientific explanation for why prisms of light can be seen in some of the official Apollo imagery? Please see the last photo on this link for an example:

projectcamelot.org/lang/en/richard_hoagland_interview_transcript_2_en.html

Thanks

expat said...

That's not a prism and Hoagland is going well beyond what's permissible in photo interpretation to claim that it is. It's either a spectral flare from the camera or more likely a small emulsion scratch that penetrates different layers at different places. This blog has commented on these artifacts many, many times.

Here.
Here.
Here.

Anonymous said...

"Here, read about barbecue mode."

How does this "barbecue mode " i.e. a 2 minute rotational cycle work for the LEM on the surface on the moon ?

expat said...

It doesn't. That's why the LM was wrapped in mylar foil.

Anonymous said...

"It doesn't. That's why the LM was wrapped in mylar foil."

Ok fair enough...but if this is to be accurate why bother with a "barbecue mode" in the first place?

expat said...

Because the Command and Service modules -- much bigger units than the LM -- were not wrapped.

expat said...

Add: During launch the CSM was subject to aerodynamic forces, whereas the LM was protected.

Brett Middleton said...

And now we have a national science advisor who believes the moon landings were a hoax. I'm not a Trump hater, but ... oy vey. I find myself without enough hands to give this the amount of facepalming it deserves.

expat said...

If your source is World News Daily Report, it's a FAKE.

Brett Middleton said...

Got it from an opinion piece at thehill.com. I went back and checked, and that author references an article in Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/01/18/david-gelernter-fiercely-anti-intellectual-computer-scientist-is-being-eyed-for-trumps-science-adviser/?utm_term=.6431df715fff

Given the track record of WaPo on cobbling up "fake news" where anything Trump-related is concerned, I wish I'd noticed the original source the first time I read the article.

Anonymous said...

"Because the Command and Service modules -- much bigger units than the LM -- were not wrapped."

So they basically ran out of foil....is that it?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
OneBigMonkey said...

The LM didn't have a heat shield and those had been found to crack in extreme cold, hence the need for a means of keeping the CSM at an even temperature. As the CSM didn't have any insulating foil it also had no means of keeping the fuel tanks for the RCS thrusters at an even temperature. You can't put insulating foil on a machine that is going to be launched through an atmosphere.

See David Woods excellent "How Apollo Flew to the Moon" for more.

Anonymous said...

"found to crack in extreme cold"

you do realize that the vacuum of space has no temperature.

OneBigMonkey said...

You do realise that objects in space do?